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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Life + Arts

Montrose-area coffeehouse reopens

Houston’s favorite coffee shop, Agora, is back in business and better than ever. | Nine Nguyen/The Daily Cougar

The hipsters of Houston breathed a heavy sigh of relief last Wednesday as their favorite inner-loop hangout spot, Agora, opened its doors for the first time since October.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Agora, it was named Houston’s Best Coffeehouse by the Houston Press for three consecutive years in 2004, 2005 and 2006 — and rightfully so. It boasts an ambient atmosphere, good music, a wine bar, excellent drinks and has become the mecca for Houston’s indie crowd.

Unfortunately, however, on Halloween night, Houston watched (and tweeted) as their beloved coffeeshop was consumed by flames. The fire originated in the antique shop located next to Agora; the building was irreparably damaged and was eventually torn down.

The damage Agora sustained was severe, but it wasn’t beyond repair. For months, a construction crew worked to restore the coffeehouse to its original condition. Their work has not gone unnoticed — the coffee shop is even better than it was before.

Slight changes have been made to the building, though.There is no longer an upstairs deck, but there is now additional seating around the outside of the building, which is nice, as it used to get a bit cramped on busier weekend nights. The parking lot has been greatly expanded as well. This is good news for anyone that has ever had to park on the neighborhood streets behind Agora due to a lack of parking close to the coffeehouse. There is also slightly more space in the back near the bathrooms and bar, making the refrigerator more accessible.

Greek art and masks still hang from the walls, and an ecelectic mix of Greek music and The Verve continues to play from the jukebox.

Just days after it reopened, Agora was littered with people, many of which appeared to be regulars. There was a plethora of hipsters wearing fedoras, middle-aged men enjoying glasses of red wine and students from around the city with Apple computers and textbooks . It was as if the fire never occured and Agora was never closed.

Next time you’re in the area, it would be in your good interest to stop by the newly re-opened coffeehouse, have a cup of coffee with a friend and enjoy everything Agora has to offer.

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